Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The townhall at Ahichhatra

There was a trickle of people gathering in front of Vadhryasva’s house. (Author’s note: In those times, there were no palaces, heads of clans and rajans stayed in larger houses with better fortifications.). He had returned to Ahichhatra to a great outpouring of grief. But a war had to be fought, an army resurrected and the general populace needed to be conditioned to the dangers and upheaval that lay ahead.

The trickle had now grown into a crowd. Vadhryasva stepped out along with Bhumanyu, Purumidha and Ahichhatra’s other council members.

Vadhryasva realized that everyone in the crowd had the same unanswered questions. Had their Gods suddenly turned against them? Accidents do occur and even though the laity and noble propitiate the Gods, people still die. Now, that they understood. But for Dabhiti and Menaka to perish in such unexplained circumstances, that too in the presence and hermitage of a powerful seer such as Rishi Bharadvaja? Were the Gods trying to send them an ominous message?

“Sometimes our Gods appear to act in the most inexplicable ways. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, I struggled to find a justifiable reason for it. But for the fact that I was in the hermitage, I would not have been able to contain my anger and expressed my wrath against the Gods in some form or the other. The healing began on the way back to Ahichhatra. So also did the realization of why this had happened and what it means to me, to us.”

“I have no doubt, the snatching away of our queen and revered purohit, was a supreme sacrifice that our Gods ask of us. To think of it any other way would be to question our faith in them. Our faith in our Gods is being severely tested. If we reaffirm our faith in them, we will send them a message that the greater good of our people is more important to us than two individuals, howsoever important they may have been. It will tell them, that we remain steadfast in our belief that they will continue to guard and protect us despite the loss and adversity.”

“Cast out your doubts, your suspicions. Give up your grief, but not your memories. Nurse the memories of those we have lost and may it serve as a constant reminder of your obligation to repay their  supreme sacrifice. Rise, valiant, for your land and clan needs you. Unflinching faith will show the way.“

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